In case I never mentioned this,
Dr. McNinja is one of the best webcomics ever.
The subject of ninjaz came to mind because this morning, I went to take my yellow belt test. I knew my routine perfectly, and I knew all the Korean that I had needed to learn for the test. But when it came to the actual performance, because I was supposed to do it in sync with some students I’d never practiced before, I kinda jumped the gun and went at a pace that I wasn’t used to. As a result, I slightly botched one transition (though the moves were still correct). I’m pretty annoyed at that. You know what that’s like, working hard to do it just right, and getting it, but then when it comes time that you need it, you choke?
I`ve spoken about how the beauty of a lot of martial arts has always been the employment of the body in dynamic situations. A single round of sparring really puts so much to the test. Adaptation , concentration, willpower… and of course, physical conditioning. It`s a lot like jazz, where creativity is about twisting even subtle mistakes in the pattern into something great. You might say jazz music is like using off-notes and off-beats to feint in order to acheive a greater final effect.
But forms? Man, I’ll just say it now… I suck at forms. Improvisation is one thing but what it also means is that one gets used to the crutch of being sloppy. Forms really reveals what’s always been a recurring theme in all of my activities, whether it was musical, with writing, or with physical activities– it all boils down to a lack of refinement in technique. I sort of rely on other areas to make up for that weakness, when in reality, my own words are that we should always strive to strengthen our weakest links.
I’d like to think that takign TKD is a way of challenging myself to see if I can actually try to get the discipline to get technically refined at something. Anything. So far, it’s going as expected, and by that I mean that I guess in some sense I never expected to do this perfectly the first time anyhow. It’s been a good learning experience. If I don’t get that yellow belt, well, it’s not the end of the world. It may be a bit embarassing because it is the first level that one is supposed to get, but in my deffense– I did only start training about two and three weeks ago, and for half that time I was so sick that I couldn’t even go up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. (yes, I know, excuses, excuses)
Yeah, it happens to everyone I suppose. If I don’t pass the test, I’d accept that because frankly, everyone gets just one shot right, that’s the way it goes– dealing under pressure is part of it. But well, I’m frustrated is all, because in totality on paper I did the same performance as people who I know practiced less than me. That bugs me. But I guess it’s part of the game.
In any case, maybe someday I`ll do something just right on the first try and then I can do a high five with a gorilla.
Here’s to a future of ninjary! (yes I know that makes absolutely no sense, but right now, I’m extremely drowsy from my medication)